Barking over Animals & Society fellowship

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2009:
ANN ARBOR, Mich.–The Animals & Society
Institute had difficult questions to answer in
August 2009 after awarding a “Human-Animal
Studies Fellowship” to Jere Alexander. Alexander
in November 2008 resigned as director of the
Fulton County Animal Shelter following an exposé
of shelter conditions by Randy Travis of Fox 5 TV
and several follow-up exposés by the Atlanta
Journal Constitution.
The exposés, summarized in the November/
December 2008 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, focused
on allegations that Alexander refused to
euthanize pit bull terriers deemed dangerous by
staff, housed other dogs with pit bulls who
killed them, removed 83 cats from the shelter in
the name of a rescue group whose existence could
not be verified, admitted having attended
dogfights in connection with academic research,
hired the wife of a convicted dogfighter, and
maintained other associations with alleged

“We weren’t aware of this,” Animals &
Society managing director Beatrice M. Friedlander
told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “She applied for, and was
accepted to, the 2009 Human-Animal Studies
Fellowship based on her dissertation research
titled Let the Dogs Do the Talkin’: Dog-Man
Relationships in Dogfighting Culture, an
ethnography of gamedog culture in the South. She
left the fellowship after several weeks due
to illness in her family.”
Added Animals & Society executive
director Kenneth Shapiro in response to an
inquiry from an ANIMAL PEOPLE reader, “She was
selected for the Fellowship based on the same
criteria we use for all applicants–a review of
the research proposal and letters of
“We don’t ask for–nor do we review–past
writings,” elaborated Friedlander. “Our review
of her and the other applicants didn’t involve
them submitting large bodies of their work, but
rather a description of their research.”
The Animals & Society Institute was
formed by a merger of Psychologists for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Animal
Rights Network.

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